Work starts on new link from Laira Rail Bridge to Saltram Meadow

Work to create a walking and cycling route connecting Laira Rail Bridge and the new Saltram Meadow housing estate will start on Monday 14 November.

The link will provide a traffic-free alternative to this stretch of Laira Bridge Road and Billacombe Road and help to reduce congestion along the A379.

Department for Transport figures show that cycling has gone up by 50 per cent in Plymouth in the last six years and around 570 pedestrians and cyclists already use the popular new Laira Rail Bridge daily. The new link, along with a wider network of planned improvements, is expected to boost numbers even further.

People will be able to access the link via the estate and the new pedestrian and cycle crossing currently being built on Billacombe Road, near Broxton Drive.

Fully funded through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Transport Board and Section 106 contributions, the link is expected to be opened in Spring 2017.

Future plans include extending the route further along the railway alignment to create a more direct link into Broxton Drive.

The ramp at the east end of Laira Rail Bridge will be closed at times to allow essential works access. People on bikes, wheelchairs and mobility scooters will be asked to use the road bridge while the ramp is closed and the steps onto Laira Rail Bridge from The Ride will remain open at all times.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, Housing and Planning, said: “The Laira Rail Bridge link has been really popular and we’re pleased to be extending the route further – providing a safer, off-road option for walkers and cyclists, as well as people who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

“We’re grateful to Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, for their work in safeguarding the old railway alignment and it will be great to see this being brought back into use as a travel link through the east of the city.”